Welcome to the Founding Chapter of The Links, Incorporated

The Philadelphia Chapter of The Links, Incorporated was founded on November 9, 1946 by co-founders Margaret Roselle Hawkins and Sarah Strickland Scott. These women leveraged their network and resources to assemble a dynamic team of seven other Links that constituted what was originally referred to as "The Philadelphia Club.”

About The Links, Inc.

The Links, Incorporated is an international, not-for-profit corporation, established in 1946. The membership consists of nearly 14,000 professional women of color in 280 chapters located in 41 states, D.C. & the Bahamas. Learn more →

The Umbrella Project: "Educate A Girl, Educate a World!"

The Founding Chapter

It all began in Philadelphia. Learn more about the founding chapter and the nation’s premiere service and philanthropic organization for African American women.

Program Facets

The Links, Incorporated is an organization of accomplished, dedicated women who are active in your community. Learn more about our five Facet focus.

Scholarships

Learn more about the Margaret Roselle Hawkins Arts and Sara Strcikland Scott Academic Scholarships.

About Us

The Philadelphia Chapter

The Philadelphia Chapter of The Links, Incorporated was founded on November 9, 1946 by co-founders Margaret Roselle Hawkins and Sarah Strickland Scott. These women leveraged their network and resources to assemble a dynamic team of seven other Links that constituted what was originally referred to as “The Philadelphia Club.”

In less than one year of our chapter’s founding, the Philadelphia Links provided a nearly $10,000 cash gift (close to $100,000 based on the 2014 CPI Inflation Calculator) to the Bureau of Colored Children to assist with tending to the needs of orphaned African American children. Three years later, a nationalization meeting was held in Philadelphia as other African American women’s clubs sought to officially affiliate as Links chapters.

This historical move further solidified The Links as the premiere service and philanthropic organization for African American women. Within a short time frame, scores of Links chapters were chartered throughout the country. Today, The Links, Incorporated consists of 276 chapters throughout the United States and the Bahamas.

The Philadelphia Chapter continues to perpetuate the legacy of service through our programming and philanthropy within the Greater Philadelphia region. We have contributed millions of dollars and tens of thousands of service hours to several organizations in our area since our inception. Among our chapter membership ranks, the Philadelphia Chapter is proud to include business, education, and non-profit leaders that are dedicated to positive community transformation.

The Beginning: Philadelphia

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The Links, Incorporated was founded by two Philadelphia matrons on November 9, 1946.

Photo is not to be used without the expressed written permission of the Philadelphia Chapter of The Links, Incorporated.
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On that evening, Margaret Roselle Hawkins and Sarah Strickland Scott, two young Philadelphia matrons, invited seven of their friends to join them in organizing a new type of inter-city club. This organizing meeting of The Links was not a spontaneous action. In 1945, Link Hawkins had conceived the idea of a group of clubs composed of friends along the eastern seaboard and had spent many hours with Link Scott in thinking, planning and discussing the possibilities of such an endeavor.

The two women envisioned an organization that would respond to the needs and aspirations of Black women in ways that existing clubs did not. It was their intent the club would have a threefold aim–civic, educational, and cultural. Based on these aims, the club would implement programs, which its founders hoped would foster cultural appreciation through the arts; develop richer inter-group relations; and help women who participated to understand and accept their social and civic responsibilities.

Besides the two founders, the original members of the Philadelphia Club were Links Frances Atkinson, Katie Green, Marion Minton, Lillian Stanford, Myrtle Manigault Stratton, Lillian Wall, and Dorothy Wright. The club elected Margaret Hawkins as president, Sarah Scott as vice president, Myrtle Manigault Stratton as recording secretary, Frances Atkinson as corresponding secretary, and Dorothy Wright as treasurer.

Original Philadelphia Club Members

Officers

Mahlene Duckette Lee
President

Leah Smith Sheppard
Vice President

Zakiya Black Barnett
Recording Secretary

Sherri Kyle-Jones
Corresponding Secretary

Margaret A. Wright
Financial Secretary

Julie Coker Graham
Treasurer

MarvaLisa F. Scott
Parliamentarian

Stephanie Mays Boyd
Program Chair

Sherilynn Johnson Kimble
Immediate Past President

Facet Committee Chairs

THE ARTS
Rosalyn McPherson, Chair
Samantha Butts, Co-Chair

HEALTH & HUMAN SERVICES
Trumell Lamb, Chair

INTERNATIONAL TRENDS & SERVICES
Terri Lee Taylor, Chair

NATIONAL TRENDS & SERVICES
Terri Dean, Chair

SERVICES TO YOUTH
Vivienne Crawford, Chair
Stephanie Watkins, Co-Chair

Standing Committees

ARCHIVES
Mariska K. Bogle, Chair

AUDIT
Catherine Broach, Chair

CONSTITUTION & BYLAWS
MarvaLisa F. Scott, Chair

ETHICS
Stephanie Watkins, Chair

COURTESY
Evelyn Sample-Oates, Chair

FINANCE
Julie Coker Graham, Chair

FUND DEVELOPMENT / GRANT WRITING
Judith Gay, Chair

HUMAN TRAFFICKING
Catherine Manning Adams, Co-Chair
Valerie Robinson, Co-Chair

MEMBERSHIP
Leah Smith Sheppard, Chair

NOMINATING
Evelyn Sample-Oates, Chair

PUBLIC RELATIONS / MEDIA
Kimberly Reed, Co-Chair
Nicole White, Co-Chair

PROTOCOL
Faatimah Gamble, Chair

SCHOLARSHIP / HBCU INITIATIVE
Kimberly Spivey, Chair

SPECIAL EVENTS
(Ad Hoc) – Sherilynn Johnson Kimble, Chair

STRATEGIC PLANNING
Catherine Manning Adams, Chair

TECHNOLOGY
Mariska K. Bogle, Co-Chair
Sherri Kyle-Jones, Co-Chair

Alumnae Members

Barbara Bell Adderley
Willadine Bain
Linnette Black
Toni Brazington
Angela Crockett

Florence Anne Frazier
Velma W. Goode
Alma G. Goodwyn
Joyce Brown Harrison
Annie Ruth Johnson

Lorraine Brown Long
Alicia Perkins
Marcella Hyde Rhoulhac
Dorothy Sumners Rush
Evelyn Smalls

About Us

Who We Are

The Links, Incorporated is an international, not-for-profit corporation, established in 1946 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The membership consists of nearly 14,000 professional women of color in 280 chapters located in 41 states, the District of Columbia and the Commonwealth of the Bahamas. It is one of the nation’s oldest and largest volunteer service organizations of extraordinary women who are committed to enriching, sustaining and ensuring the culture and economic survival of African Americans and other persons of African ancestry.

Our Founders

The Links, Incorporated was founded by two Philadelphia matrons on November 9, 1946.

National Officers

Glenda Newell-Harris
National President

Kimberly Jeffries Leonard
National Vice President

Crystal L. Kendrick
National Recording Secretary

Carolyn Lewis
National Treasurer

Tyna D. Davis
National Parliamentarian

What We Do

The outstanding programming of The Links, Incorporated has five facets which include: Services to Youth, The Arts, National Trends and Services, International Trends and Services and Health and Human Services. The programs are implemented through strategies such as public information and education, economic development, and public policy campaigns.

The members of The Links, Incorporated are influential decision makers and opinion leaders. The Links, Inc. has attracted many distinguished women who are individual achievers and have made a difference in their communities and the world. They are business and civic leaders, role models, mentors, activists and volunteers who work towards a common vision by engaging like-minded organizations and individuals for partnership. Links members contribute more than 500,000 documented hours of community service annually – strengthening their communities and enhancing the nation. The organization is the recipient of awards from the UN Association of New York and the Leon H. Sullivan Foundation for its premier programs.

About Us

President's Message

Greetings From the Philadelphia Chapter,

The Philadelphia Chapter is extremely proud to have the distinction of being the founding chapter of the Links, Incorporated. It was the year 1946, when Margaret Roselle Hawkins and Sarah Strickland Scott, decided to invite seven of their friends to form what would become, the Links Incorporated. Little did these women know that their vision of friends working together for the betterment of their community, would result in the creation of a leading international organization recognized throughout educational, political, social and corporate sectors: tops among premier women’s organizations in the United States.

In 1946, these nine women, although part of the more privileged group of African-Americans in Philadelphia, recognized that many in their community, struggled to make ends meet and to provide for their families. They also recognized the inequities in employment opportunities for people of color; including those with college degrees. They set out to use their influence, not only to directly provide needed services in their community, but also to reach out to others of power in an attempt to effect positive change for African-Americans in Philadelphia.

Currently, nearly seven decades later, the Philadelphia Chapter strives to continue the important work started by our Founders. Although much progress has been made for African-Americans over these years, numerous inequities between majority and minority communities still remain. Through programming, philanthropy, and other initiatives, the Philadelphia Chapter works to address educational, economic and social inequities by hands-on work in the community, partnerships with like-minded corporate citizens, and outreach to those in positions of influence throughout our country who recognize the need for, and desire to help, the underserved in our community.

I hope that you will visit the Philadelphia chapter’s website on a regular basis to see the work we are doing on behalf of citizens in the Philadelphia and surrounding region. From time to time, we encourage community members to join us in activities designed to further our efforts. Our motto, “Linked in Friendship, Connected in Service” will guide us through the next seven decades of work and provide a platform to sustain the vision established by our Founders many years ago. We will continue to work, in the spirit of our Founders, as long as there is work to be done.

Sincerely,

Dr. Mahlene Duckett Lee, President
The Philadelphia Chapter
The Links, Incorporated

Program Facets

The Links, Incorporated is an organization of accomplished, dedicated women who are active in your community. The Links members are newsmakers, role models, mentors, activists and volunteers who work toward the realization of making the name “Links” not only a chain of friendship, but also a chain of purposeful service.

The Arts

The GOAL of The Arts Facet is to increase and expand our arts and culture activity in the Greater Philadelphia region through meaningful programs and solid relationships with organizational partners. We intend to be a conduit and liaison to the people we serve and the outstanding arts institutions in our region. We will foster a love of the arts among our young people and cultivate patronage and attendance among adults in our community.

Committee

Rosalyn McPherson, Chair
Samantha Butts, Vice Chair
Patricia Aden
Keesha Boyd
Faatimah Gamble
Nancy Conway Lee
Kimberly Reed
Nicole White

Areas of Focus

The Links support of the arts can be traced to our cultured co-founder Margaret Roselle Hawkins. Her innate artistic talent, discovered at a young age, earned her a four-year scholarship to the Women’s School of Design, later known as the Moore Institute of Art. Her passion for creative expression later led to her appointment as an art teacher, and helped give root to the establishment of The Arts facet in 1964 at the 14th National Assembly.

Throughout the nation today, Links Chapters partner with museums, symphonies, arts councils, educational institutes and corporations in order to support art programs, especially where there is a focus on artists of color. Links are creating and supporting opportunities for educating minority youth in the arts and presenting and supporting performances by youth and accomplished professional artists in a diversity of disciplines.

Program Facets

The Links, Incorporated is an organization of accomplished, dedicated women who are active in your community. The Links members are newsmakers, role models, mentors, activists and volunteers who work toward the realization of making the name “Links” not only a chain of friendship, but also a chain of purposeful service.

Health & Human Services

The Links, Incorporated established the Health and Human Services facet in response to the chronic health disparities that persist in our communities and result in the decreased life expectancy of African-Americans. This new facet brings greater focus, resources, and coordination to The Links, Incorporated’s health initiatives already in existence. With the expansion of partnerships with national health agencies, and more definitive structure and support for our health related signature programs, our mission can flourish.

Committee

Trumell Lamb, Chair
Catherine Manning Adams
Renee Allen
Catherine Broach
Tanya Browne-Holmes
Kelly Davis
Judith Gay
Terri Randall
Kimberly Spivey

Areas of Focus

The mission of the Health and Human Services facet is to promote and facilitate programs that support the maintenance of good health and the elimination of chronic health disparities in communities of color through education, health advocacy, and optimal utilization of health resources. Community education about health risks is crucial and The Links, Incorporated can play a significant role in providing it.

There has been an increase in the prevalence of cardiovascular disease and stroke in ethnic communities. Obesity, diabetes and physical inactivity are all risk factors that can be modified. African-American women are more likely to die from breast cancer and early detection would allow for effective treatment and cure. We will educate members about healthy lifestyles and disease prevention to ensure that we become models of the health behavior we ourselves hope to promote in our communities.

The areas of emphasis are cardiovascular disease, breast cancer, and organ, tissue and blood donation. All health-related programs will find a home within the new facet. This includes our signature programs: HeartLinks, Linkages to Life, and Walk for Healthy Living, as well as the National Childhood Obesity Initiative, oral health, brain health initiatives, and the Susan G. Komen for the Cure national partnership.

Program Facets

The Links, Incorporated is an organization of accomplished, dedicated women who are active in your community. The Links members are newsmakers, role models, mentors, activists and volunteers who work toward the realization of making the name “Links” not only a chain of friendship, but also a chain of purposeful service.

International Trends & Services

To address the needs of women and children in our community.

Committee

Terri Lee Taylor, Chair
Mariska K. Bogle
Frances Jones
Gina Golson Nunery
Evelyn Sample-Oates

Areas of Focus

The Last Two Years
Human Trafficking Awareness Events – Girard College School & Pierce CollegeVolunteering at New Day Drop In CenterDonating Washer and Dryer to New Day Drop in CenterCollection of toiletries and personal items for women at New Day Drop InStop Hunger Now – assembling meals for the hungry (along with Sister Chapters)

Program Facets

The Links, Incorporated is an organization of accomplished, dedicated women who are active in your community. The Links members are newsmakers, role models, mentors, activists and volunteers who work toward the realization of making the name “Links” not only a chain of friendship, but also a chain of purposeful service.

National Trends & Services

The VISION of the National Trends and Services facet is to eliminate disparities by reducing barriers to services through advocacy, education, and service.

Our MISSION is to empower our chapters to effectively empower the communities in which we work.

Our GOALS include increasing the number of sustainable and measurable programs; increasing collaborative partnerships; and extending our existing initiatives to include communities identified as having the greatest need.

Committee

Terri Dean, Chair
Brenda Johnson Best
Stephanie Mays Boyd
Elise Fullwood
Sherri Kyle-Jones
Cherelle Parker
Leah Smith Sheppard
Ellyn Jo Waller

Areas of Focus

Activities over the last two years
Over the past 10 years violent incidents in the Philadelphia public schools have been increasing at an alarming rate. It became very clear to school administrators, teachers and the overall community drastic measures should be taken to help save our youth. Hearings were held by the Philadelphia Commission on Human Relations that revealed that more could and should be done by our school system and adults to have a meaningful impact.

Studies show that youth who engage with positive role models and have a positive experience can change their outlook on life. In addition to the Philadelphia public schools, The Boys and Girls Club of Philadelphia is one of several community organizations that enable all young people to reach their full potential as productive, caring, responsible citizens.

Our program began with the M. Hall Stanton School, but it is now closed. The Boys & Girls Clubs of Philadelphia provide a safe place for youth to learn life skills from caring, adult professionals; to help develop strengthen their character. One of their core courses in their leadership program is anti-bullying and we have initiated a new relationship and program design with them.

The goals of the “Bullying, Trash Talking: It’s No Joke” program are three fold:
1. Educate the youth on what bullying is and the effects of bullying2. Demonstrate through interactive sessions solutions to bullying3. Provide a safe environment for the youth to discuss and debate bullying

Program Facets

The Links, Incorporated is an organization of accomplished, dedicated women who are active in your community. The Links members are newsmakers, role models, mentors, activists and volunteers who work toward the realization of making the name “Links” not only a chain of friendship, but also a chain of purposeful service.

Services to Youth

The primary goals of this facet are to:

Promote early literacyImplement local mentoring programs from kindergarten through collegeClose the academic achievement gaps from kindergarten through collegeIntroduce and support Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (S.T.E.M.) education and career readiness

Implement college readiness programsIncrease high school and college graduation ratesAward college scholarships and build educational endowmentsPromote and support Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs)

The Services to Youth facet is currently presenting five national initiatives and two signature programs in support of our mission to enrich the lives of, and advocate for the betterment of, African-American youth.

Committee

Vivienne Crawford, Chair
Stephanie Watkins, Co-Chair
Jasmin Senior Bostic
Allison Green
LaToya Hackney
Deidre Patterson
Valerie Robinson
Denise Wynne-Baker

Areas of Focus

An integrated approach to preparing youth for the 21st century workforce

“The world around us really belongs to youth, for youth will take over its future management. Our children must never lose their zeal for building a better world. They must not be discouraged from aspiring toward greatness, for they are to be the leaders of tomorrow.”

Mary McLeod Bethune’s “My Last Will and Testament” still serves today as a clarion call to train youth to become informed, full participants in the social and economic forces that will shape the future. The Links, Incorporated created its first program facet, Services to Youth, to equip African-American children to use their intellect and spirit of achievement to indeed walk with their fellows in leading the way.

Today, The Links, Incorporated continues to implement programs that are responsive to the academic, cultural, health, social awareness, career development, and mentoring needs of youth.

The Links, Incorporated’s Services to Youth facet is an integrated approach to preparing young people to succeed in the 21st century workforce.

Scholarships

Margaret Roselle Hawkins
Arts Scholarship

The Scholarship Committee is looking for well-rounded students who demonstrate extraordinary talent in the field of the Arts. In addition, leadership skills and involvement in a variety of school and extracurricular activities are also considered.

PURPOSE
The Philadelphia Chapter of the Links, Incorporated “Margaret Roselle Hawkins Arts Scholarship” is awarded annually to a High School Senior attending a College or University.

SCOPE
Two $1,000 Scholarships are awarded annually to an Art Student who displays extraordinary talent in the field of the Arts. Awardees will receive a onetime financial support award in the amount of $1,000.

GENERAL INFORMATION
The Scholarship Committee is looking for well-rounded students who demonstrate extraordinary talent in the field of the Arts. In addition, leadership skills and involvement in a variety of school and extracurricular activities are also considered.

Scholarship selection will be based on the following criteria:
Extraordinary Talent in the Field of the ArtsFinancial NeedCommunity ServiceAcceptance in a college or universityTwo letters of recommendation from an Arts faculty and a community reference500 word essayCompleted and signed ApplicationPersonal Interview

Sara Strickland Scott
Academic Scholarship

The Sara Strickland Scott Scholarship is a general scholarship. Awardees may pursue any academic major they desire. The Scholarship Committee is looking for well-rounded students who demonstrate academic achievement, leadership skills and involvement in a variety of school and extracurricular activities.

PURPOSE
The Philadelphia Chapter of the Links, Incorporated “Sara Strickland Scott Academic Scholarship” is awarded annually to a graduating female attending a “Historically Black College or University”.

SCOPE
The initial award is $1,000 and renewable for four years provided the awardee continues her education at a “Historically Black College or University” and maintains a 3.0 GPA. Award will be issued annually upon the receipt of proof of enrollment and GPA.

GENERAL INFORMATION
The Sara Strickland Scott Scholarship is a general scholarship. Awardees may pursue any academic major they desire. The Scholarship Committee is looking for well-rounded students who demonstrate academic achievement, leadership skills and involvement in a variety of school and extracurricular activities.

Scholarship selection will be based on the following criteria:
Academic AbilityFinancial NeedCommunity ServiceAcceptance in a college or universityTwo letters of recommendation from a faculty and a community referenceCompleted and signed applicationPersonal Interview

Events & Media

Social Feed

Past Events

2018 National Assembly
The 41st National Assembly held in Indianapolis, “Linking Our Legacy Owning Our Future,” concluded on July 1, 2018. We gathered from across the country and the world in friendship and service. We also elected our new National Officers. Congratulations!

President - Link Kimberly Jefferies LeonardVice President - Link Ethel Issacs WilliamsSecretary - Link Crystal KendrickTreasurer - Link Ethelyn BowersNominating Chair - Link Raynetta Waters
Below are some photographs from the Assembly.

Can You Imagine Me Project
“Can You Imagine Me?” Promotes Good Health through its Childhood Obesity Prevention Program. The program addresses those issues that interrupt the ability to be healthy and generate positive self-esteem thru interactive workshops that teach healthy food choice, reading labels, mock grocery shopping and healthy food preparation.

No Sew Blanket Project
No Sew Blanket project with girls of Paul Robeson High School.

Fundraising Event

Afternoon Party in White

On behalf of The Philadelphia Chapter of The Links, Incorporated, we are seeking your support of our June 11, 2017 fundraiser, "Smooth Sounds: An Afternoon Party in White".

The Links, Incorporated is an international, not-for-profit corporation, established in 1946. Its membership consists of nearly 14,000 professional women of color in 283 chapters in 41 states, the District of Columbia and the Commonwealth of the Bahamas. It is one of the nation's oldest and largest volunteer service organizations of extraordinary women who are committed to enriching, sustaining and ensuring the culture and economic survival of African Americans and other persons of African ancestry.

In 2016, The Philadelphia Chapter performed more than 3,000 hours of community service, including our signature "Educate a Girl, Educate a World" mentorship program for girls at Paul Robeson High School for Human Services. The Philadelphia Chapter also funds college scholarships and collaborates with other service organizations on projects that favorably impact communities.

Below is information about our fundraiser event and a list of sponsorship opportunities. Your support as a sponsor will help us continue to make a positive difference in our community.

Thank you for your consideration,

Dr. Mahlene Duckett Lee, President
The Philadelphia Chapter
The Links, Incorporated

Proceeds from “Smooth Sounds: An Afternoon Party in White” will be used to support community and social impact programs including our multi-year relationship with students at the Paul Robeson High School for Human Services.

In addition, funds will be used to support the following scholarships:
The Sarah Scott Academic Scholarship
The Margaret Roselle Hawkins Art Scholarship
The Philadelphia Chapter of the Links, Incorporated Scholarship for Women in the Arts

Sponsorship Opportunities

Our Sponsors

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The Links, Incorporated - Philadelphia Chapter
P. O. Box 427
Bala Cynwyd, PA 19004-0427

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